I hope you have noticed the building plans that have been posted around the building over the last several weeks. Many of you have expressed great excitement over the prospect of adding much needed space to our campus. Our building committee has worked closely with our architect to develop these plans that help to address our immediate needs and give us some elbowroom for future growth. It is now time for the next step, which is church approval of these plans and seeking bids from contractors. We will have a called church conference next week for this purpose. Leading up to this conference, I wanted to take a moment to explain several features of the proposed building.
First, it isn’t perfect. There is no way we can meet all our needs with the cash we have on hand. The need list is fairly lengthy. We need a new kitchen, a bigger fellowship hall, a larger sanctuary, more classroom space…I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Addressing all these things at the same time would cost millions and at this point, debt is not an option. With that in mind, our committee set out to meet the most urgent need, which is freeing up space for our primary calling – that of discipleship. Secondly, our committee believes that this building provides the means to alleviate crowding in the sanctuary during worship. Thirdly, our committee set out to make more efficient use of our space. Finally, our committee believes that this building will help to improve our security as well.
- Discipleship – Building this building will immediately open up as many as 8 new meeting places for Sunday School classes. This means the opportunity for our largest classes to birth new classes, which will offer amazing potential for growth in discipleship. Currently, we cannot add any additional Sunday School classes.
- Crowding – Because building a new sanctuary is not an option at this point, and adding chairs to our current sanctuary is not feasible, the only way to address crowding in the sanctuary is to pave the way for two identical worship services. This is not a perfect solution, but it is the only solution we have available until a larger sanctuary becomes attainable. However, we cannot add a second service until we have Sunday School space available to disciple the additional growth that a second service will provide.
- Efficiency – Because our church offices are located in the largest building on campus, a tremendous amount of our total square footage must be heated and cooled all week long. By relocating our church offices into a dedicated office suite, then ONLY the office suite must be heated and cooled all week long and the rest of the campus can be kept at more moderate temperatures. I hope that we will also be able to upgrade our thermostats campus-wide in this process to smart thermostats that do a better job of managing energy use. Also, the large room in the new building will serve multiple purposes. It will house our youth ministry on Wednesday nights, AWANA on Sunday nights, and Sunday School classes on Sunday morning. It can also serve as an overflow for fellowship events and can be used by other groups as needed. The new building also addresses storage problems, adding an additional 1,200 square feet of storage by utilizing some of the attic space in the building.
- Security – By moving the church offices out of their current location, we can turn the entire east wing of the main building into a secure preschool suite with controlled access. In light of the increase in violence directed toward churches and children, this has become increasingly important and this new building gives us the freedom to address this urgent need. Also, having a dedicated office suite with one point of access will give our office staff a greater sense of security during the day.
Again, it is not perfect, but it is a first step in meeting a long list of needs. It is exciting to be a part of a church on the move and by God’s grace, this is just the first step of becoming all that He would have Northside to become!